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    Long Island Rail Road riders turn complaints over delays into lawsuit

    MINEOLA, N.Y. — Even before the start of a two-month track renovation project at New York’s Pennsylvania Station, some frustrated Long Island Rail Road riders filed a lawsuit over its chronic shutdowns, delays, and packed trains that they say are unacceptable.

    It is believed to be the first such legal action by riders over the most recent problems with rail lines running in and out of Penn Station.

    The renovation project is expected to disrupt life for hundreds of thousands of passengers.

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    ‘‘It’s getting unsafe. People are fighting because it’s so unbearable. The anxiety is out of control,’’ says Meredith Jacobs, vice president of sales for a Manhattan dress manufacturer and a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed last month.

    The suit against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the LIRR’s parent organization, claims breach of contract, negligence, and ‘‘intentional infliction of emotional distress,’’ listing a litany of complaints alleging the railroad is failing to provide on-time, safe, and reliable service. It seeks unspecified damages.